Fic: Old Friends Who’ve Just Met (SJA, gen)

Author’s note: Title comes from the song “I’m Going to Go Back There Someday” by the Muppets. Set sometime after the SJA episode, “The Death of the Doctor.”

Written for: gemothy for fandom_stocking 2013.

Jo writes letters. Big, fat, enthusiastic, hand-scrawled letters as though e-mail had never been invented. Sarah Jane supposes that in many of the places where Jo spends her time, it may as well not have been. The stamps come from all over the world, many from places Sarah’s never even heard of, which is understandably impressive for someone who once traveled the universe herself.

She can’t write back. Jo and Cliff don’t stay in one place long enough for letters to reach them: usually by the time the post arrives at Bannerman Road, they’ve already long gone. Sarah Jane tried, once. She sent a letter to Santiago, asking him to forward it on, but he admitted sheepishly that half the time even the children and grandchildren don’t know where Jo and Cliff have got to: they give “keeping up with the Joneses” a whole new meaning. Jo finally did receive the letter some six months later when she came home for a protest, but only sent back a missive off her own padded with reassurances (darling) that Sarah needn’t worry about reciprocating–why, that would rather be like trying to pin down the Doctor, wouldn’t it? Jo simply loved having someone new to share her adventures with, even if only by correspondence.

They’re wonderful stories, those adventures. Stories that make Sarah understand why the Doctor adored Jo as he did, even more so than meeting her had. Jo talks of throwing herself in the path of bulldozers to save ancient trees, of saving obscure villages in remote corners of the world from being destroyed by greedy developers intent on damming and flooding fertile valleys, of watching the sunset from vantage points no Westerner has ever seen before.

In her own way, Jo’s carrying on the Doctor’s legacy every bit as much as Sarah Jane is, even if there are no aliens involved. And Sarah can’t help but admire her enthusiasm and energy, which seem undiminished with age. Or at least if they have diminished, then she’d like to have known Jo in her younger days. Sarah regrets sometimes that she never looked her up forty years ago, after the Doctor dropped her off. It would have been nice to have a female friend who understood, not just Harry and the lot at UNIT.

Sarah’s had enough of dwelling on regrets for one lifetime, though. She’s not going to do it again, no matter how much one particular regret likes to keep popping up in her life now she isn’t looking for him any longer. Instead, she treasures every letter, often reading them aloud to Luke or Sky or Rani and Clyde, sometimes even Maria in their weekly video chats. She looks forward to the next time something brings Jo home to England long enough for a visit. And she remembers how very lucky she is to have the life she’s led, and the wonderful people she’s been privileged to share it with: Jo Jones, nee Grant, being one of the most remarkable.

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